SBC News Conajzar must explain its messy Paraguay sportsbook tender

Conajzar must explain its messy Paraguay sportsbook tender

Conajzar, the gambling authority of Paraguay, has been forced to disclose all information related to its tender competition to award an exclusive national sports betting franchise. 

This week, the Commission of Paraguay’s Congress approved an appeal by rejected suitors forcing Conajzar to explain how it ran and chose concessions to participate in its tender.

The appeal was brought forward by the B-Gaming and Gambling SA consortium, alongside Play Tech Paraguay, a trio that “absolutely rejects” how Conajzar managed the tender competition.

Conajzar launched its competition in the summer of 2022, which gained nationwide media coverage as the regulator ‘openly advertised’ that it required suitors to compete for its exclusive sports betting contract.  

Following its national campaign, in November Conajzar announced Daruma Sam as the winner of its competition, a decision immediately challenged by participants.

The regulator was accused of deliberately implementing a flawed competition framework favouring Daruma Sam, who operates Paraguay’s sole betting franchise Apostala in the capital district of Gran Asuncion.

B-Gaming and Gambling SA cited that Conajzar had provided an ‘unsatisfactory answer’ as to why the consortium’s bid had been disqualified at the submissions stage of the competition’s tender process.

Disclosed to Congress, tender suitors revealed that they had submitted bids with a much lower commission rate to operate the franchise than Daruma Sam had provided. 

Responding to the appeal, Daruma Sam stated that it has already begun work to launch its national franchise that will operate across Paraguay’s 17 provinces.

Daruma Sam stands by Conajzar’s appointment, stating that it was the only participant that could match all technical requirements and system provisions to operate a national sports betting network.  

Furthermore, Daruma Sam outlined that it was the ‘logical bid’ that could realistically match Conajzar’s projection to raise “almost PYT 300bn (€33m) in royalties over the next five years.”

Paraguay’s government had been warned by trade body APOJA, which asserted that Conajzar’s tender was unviable with the country’s existing gambling framework, due to it holding limited interpretation for sports betting activities.  

As such, Conajzar held no grounds to determine that Paraguay should adopt a national franchise model for sports betting. 

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